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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Let's hope this is not the new iMac keyboard

Let's hope this is not the new iMac keyboard
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Veltliner
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Jul 30, 2007, 01:28 AM
 
Recently found on appleinsider: rumors of a new iMac keyboard.

AppleInsider | Purported photos of new iMac keyboard stir debate

I hope this junk is just a hoax.

One of the things I appreciate is the great keyboard that comes with the iMac. It is excellent for many hours of writing, the keys are easy to press down, easy to find. Fast writing is possible.

One of the reasons I don't want a MacBook is the crappy keyboard with its awful flat keys, unsuitable for extended writing.

If that keyboard came with the next generation iMac...

Well, let's hope this is not true. Who needs a "super thin" keyboard for a desktop computer? What's the use? It doesn't even look good, only cheap.
     
Faust
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Jul 30, 2007, 01:44 AM
 
I find it interesting that you prefer a non-flat keyboard for extensive writing. I have come to favour flat keys over casual ones, especially for extensive writing. It is the very reason I've bought the diNovo Edge by Logitech. While it is not exactly a nice replacement for the mac keyboard (due to it being a native Windows optimized keyboard), I find it a lot more comfortable to use its flat keys. If Apploe chose to put out a flat keyboard, I'd instantly exchange it for the diNovo. I'd welcome it, if they did provide a flat keyboard as a further option.

I do like the design of the keyboard. It has a feel of vintage and modern styles combined.
     
JKT
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Jul 30, 2007, 04:22 AM
 
Assuming that this could be the next Mac desktop keyboard (seems unlikely to me, but...), my only objection to it at this stage is that it doesn't appear to be backlit.
     
Pierre B.
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Jul 30, 2007, 04:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by JKT View Post
Assuming that this could be the next Mac desktop keyboard (seems unlikely to me, but...)...
It seems pretty real to my eyes. The pictures show it in detail from several angles, it just feels so authentic. It would take a huge Photoshop effort to make this up. I believe that the chances this to be fake are really slim. It is strange though that these pictures are still up.

Originally Posted by JKT View Post
my only objection to it at this stage is that it doesn't appear to be backlit.
And I doubt it will be any time soon.
     
Pierre B.
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Jul 30, 2007, 04:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post
Well, let's hope this is not true. Who needs a "super thin" keyboard for a desktop computer? What's the use?
It probably makes part of the "environment-friendly Apple" of this year. Less material, less damage to produce it. Plus, more cost savings for Apple since, as usual, the benefit of such changes does not trickle down to the consumer.

One shot, two birds down. If you see things from this perspective, it makes this rumor even more credible.
     
Paco Loco
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Jul 30, 2007, 05:11 AM
 
Personally I love the look of this keyboard and can't wait to get hold of it! I'm sure it is genuine. I have always thought that the current Apple keyboard was so cheap looking and really let the systems down - about time they came out with something better.
     
Randman
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Jul 30, 2007, 06:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Paco Loco View Post
Personally I love the look of this keyboard and can't wait to get hold of it! I'm sure it is genuine. I have always thought that the current Apple keyboard was so cheap looking and really let the systems down - about time they came out with something better.
I agree though still divided by the loss of the Apple key in favor of Command.

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moonmonkey
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Jul 30, 2007, 06:37 AM
 
I prefer slimline Laptop style keyboards, I find them better to type on and they look cooler.
     
Paco Loco
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Jul 30, 2007, 06:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by Randman View Post
I agree though still divided by the loss of the Apple key in favor of Command.
I wouldn't be surprised if the production version had the Apple symbol on it even though this one doesn't - as it's a pre-production unit it's bound to be a little different from the one that eventually gets released.
Then again maybe they decided that they needed to put the word Command on it - it's possible new users get confused by it as it's the only important key which isn't explicitly named.
     
DarkStarRed
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Jul 30, 2007, 08:57 AM
 
I think you must take into consideration, has many other's have concluded this "keyboard" if true is just a test-bed!
Also the rumours of a "two-toned" white/silver iMac my also have been deduced from this keyboard?
I have no experience "never owned" or typed on a laptop keyboard, there are Apple displays now at large "mall's" were I live so I'll go down just to try. I feel that it'll be comfortable, I can't complain about the recent Apple keyboards "G5 & G4" but that's just me.
So out of all of this I believe that it will be all one colour, illuminated, full pro layout-keys, Apple key-icon's, dedicated media-keys
& maybe that patent Apple has to replace the arrow-key's? We will just have to wait & see.
     
imitchellg5
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Jul 31, 2007, 11:05 AM
 
I like it. Although the Apple logo on the "Apple Developement Team" sticker is very fake looking.
     
lpkmckenna
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Jul 31, 2007, 02:21 PM
 
Replacing "help" with "fn" is a great idea. However, I think the location for the forward-delete key should be swapped with the fn key (and thus next to backspace).

Time to get rid of that stupid capslock key as well. (The user could activate capslock by double-tapping shift or pressing both shift keys together.) The capslock key should become a user-configurable key (for Expose or Dashboard or whatever.
     
Simon
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Jul 31, 2007, 04:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
Replacing "help" with "fn" is a great idea.
How's that?

I don't use the help key, but why would I need a fn key when I have dedicated function keys?
     
abbaZaba
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Jul 31, 2007, 05:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
(The user could activate capslock by double-tapping shift or pressing both shift keys together.)
that would be stupid. I doubt more than 5% of people would prefer to do this over how it has been for some years.
     
0157988944
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Aug 1, 2007, 09:49 AM
 
I'm gonna be blunt.

This keyboard is ugly.
This keyboard looks cheap.
This keyboard has all sorts of weird new key placements. What exactly did they accomplish by moving the volume keys to the middle? They could still have them on the FKeys at the end.
This keyboard gives every indication of a Cinema Display with a computer behind it for the new iMac.

The only thing I like is the flat keys. I like how they feel.
     
lpkmckenna
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Aug 1, 2007, 10:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
How's that?

I don't use the help key, but why would I need a fn key when I have dedicated function keys?
For the same reason that laptops have an fn key. They too have dedicated function keys.
     
Simon
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Aug 1, 2007, 12:31 PM
 
Yeah, my bad. I thought there was a row of function and a row of control keys. Didn't notice they overlayed all the hardware controls onto the function keys.
     
butterfly0fdoom
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Aug 1, 2007, 01:45 PM
 
I like the new keyboard. I like the flat keys. I hated the help button cuz I'd accidentally hit it too many times. I embrace the FN key even if it does make accessing Expose more of a hassle. I just don't like the current Apple Keyboard. D:
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0157988944
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Aug 1, 2007, 01:50 PM
 
The only way this could be a fake is if someone has a lot of time on their hands and made a keyboard out of macbook keys. You'd need 2 MacBooks and some white paint, and you could make this.

Or Apple may have made this as a decoy, but doubt it.
     
Veltliner  (op)
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Aug 3, 2007, 01:38 AM
 
Seeing how many people like flat keys, I see flat keys coming.

Apple has a very precise feel of what apple users want.

I just hope they don't kill the traditional keyboard for those who prefer it.

I just wonder how many of you really write twenty or thirty pages of text a day. If those also like the flat keys I may go into a flat key clinic to change my addiction to raised keys. Or become a minority worth protecting.
     
NobleMatt
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Aug 3, 2007, 02:36 AM
 
i dont like the idea of having the flat keys for the iMac either, i dont mind it on laptops so much (only every had that kind of keys on an Acer) but for my desktop i would like it to stay as it is please, i do think there is alot apple could do with their keyboards, im looking at mine thinking, how bland, plain and uninventive, one think i would like to see is possible a function key with controles for itunes on them (like what you would get on an Acer lappy)

Matt
     
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Aug 4, 2007, 10:44 AM
 
i just purchased the apple wireless keyboard a while ago, and I hope i just won't regret my decision when the new ones are out.
     
ghporter
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Aug 4, 2007, 11:22 AM
 
Clearly labeled on the back of the keyboard in the AppleInsider page is the term "Not Cosmetic Unit," so I can't help but think it's at least a beta keyboard. I prefer the looks of the current Apple USB keyboard to this one, but it does have stylistic promise. Some sculpting of the keycaps would help though, because it's easier for me to keep on the keys correctly when my fingertips have a little help.

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0157988944
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Aug 4, 2007, 12:00 PM
 
Yeah, there's no reason for the keys to be completely flat... It's not like there's anything to sit flush with like on the macbooks... They could have the flat keyboard design and just sculpt the keys a bit on top.
     
Veltliner  (op)
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Aug 5, 2007, 02:32 AM
 
One thing apple could improve with its keyboard is to allow some disassembly for cleaning.

Heavily used keyboards tend to look like sand dunes with the alphabet scratched into it, and only antiseptic personalities find will, time, and motivation to keep them shiny and white.
     
Veltliner  (op)
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Aug 5, 2007, 02:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Clearly labeled on the back of the keyboard in the AppleInsider page is the term "Not Cosmetic Unit," so I can't help but think it's at least a beta keyboard. I prefer the looks of the current Apple USB keyboard to this one, but it does have stylistic promise. Some sculpting of the keycaps would help though, because it's easier for me to keep on the keys correctly when my fingertips have a little help.
How do you know the label is genuine?

The sculpting of the keys: exactly!

If one doesn't look at one's keyboard while writing, sculpting makes it much easier to hit the key right, and you also need less power, as the indentation catches the typing finger, and steadies it. It is like pouring a liquid into a bottle without funnel (flat keys) or with a funnel (sculpted keys).
     
NobleMatt
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Aug 5, 2007, 06:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post
It is like pouring a liquid into a bottle without funnel (flat keys) or with a funnel (sculpted keys).
Nicely put, i didnt have much of a problem with it thought when i used my flat laptop keyboard, but that was such a good layout, still getting use to the imac keyboard like, seem to miss the odd key
     
sushiism
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Aug 5, 2007, 12:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
Replacing "help" with "fn" is a great idea. However, I think the location for the forward-delete key should be swapped with the fn key (and thus next to backspace).

Time to get rid of that stupid capslock key as well. (The user could activate capslock by double-tapping shift or pressing both shift keys together.) The capslock key should become a user-configurable key (for Expose or Dashboard or whatever.
Really bad idea for casual users, however I love the idea of tapping both shifts to turn caps lock on and using caps lock as a key for Quicksilver or something. Someone should totally make a program that does this
     
Veltliner  (op)
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Aug 6, 2007, 12:12 AM
 
There are two different methods of typing.

1. Writing with ten fingers, indispensible for much writing. Best keyboard for this has sculpted keys.

2. The "bird of prey"-approach. Index finger circles over keyboard, and sharp eyes scan the letters in search for the right one. There! There's the e! And the index finger nose dives (even though a finger has no nose) down towards the keyboard, and hits the key with a force high enough to punch the lights out of a heavy weight boxer. Best keyboard for this: flat keys, easier to hit in nose dive mode, and you can hit them harder.
     
0157988944
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Aug 6, 2007, 12:16 AM
 
Even for hunt and pecking, sculpted keys is best. It guides you finger toward the middle of the key. I do a combination where I type with my whole hand, mostly using my first and middle fingers and ignoring the home keys. I mess up tons more on my MacBook then I ever have on my eMac, iMac, Sony desktop, or Dell laptop (all with sculpted keys.)
     
fisherKing
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Aug 6, 2007, 10:29 AM
 
interesting thread, everyone has their preference.

i work on a powerbook G4 and an imac, and MUCH prefer the powerbook keyboard.
am a 'several-finger' typist, but pretty fast.
the powerbook is just friendlier; i can literally glide over the keyboard.

anyway, tomorrow (fingers crossed) we'll see the new imac, and new keyboard.
if it's all even close to the rumored specs and design...am getting one...
"At first, there was Nothing. Then Nothing inverted itself and became Something.
And that is what you all are: inverted Nothings...with potential" (Sun Ra)
     
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Aug 6, 2007, 04:31 PM
 
I would like to see Apple use mechanical keys witches again, they haven't in about 17 years, so I doubt it.
     
bballe336
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Aug 6, 2007, 05:39 PM
 
I don't doubt that they will use that keyboard for the imac's at least. Ever since apple changed from apple computer to just apple they have been putting form over function, this is another perfect example.
     
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Aug 6, 2007, 05:41 PM
 
I'll have to reserve judgment until I can type on it myself, but I'm always hoping there isn't another hockey puck.
     
lpkmckenna
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Aug 6, 2007, 07:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by bballe336 View Post
Ever since apple cancelled Copland started using brushed metal introduced the iMac switched from Platinum to Aqua created the iPod changed from apple computer to just apple they have been putting form over function, this is another perfect example.
Fixinated.
     
Veltliner  (op)
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Aug 6, 2007, 08:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by bballe336 View Post
I don't doubt that they will use that keyboard for the imac's at least. Ever since apple changed from apple computer to just apple they have been putting form over function, this is another perfect example.
"Form over function" usually ends with the form degenerating as well, as it is disconnected from a goal. If you don't value function, everything is possible, which can lead either to empty estheticism or to child's play design.

The BAUHAUS was so revolutionary a design movement, as it was the first that married form and function. And apple's designs definitely have a connection to that esthetics.

I just went back and took another look at that new cookie cutter keyboard.

That new keyboard looks more like an elementary school device to me (how to learn the alphabet through typing) than a real tool for productive adults.

But as long as apple gives us a real keyboard and leaves child's play design for those who want it, it's still OK.

OK, but not good.

Apple is on top of a wave of success, and this often leads companies to think themselves infallibe, which is the first step to their downfall.

Don't forget, Apple has already been there once - only ten years ago. The company almost collapsed.

The current apple idea can be summarized with "well designed, high quality and reliable products", and it is well positioned against the ugly PC world of tasteless everyman computers. And, what's more, the good and pleasing design is still highly practical. Those computers and accessories are, to use a metaphor, shoes you can walk in all day and look good at the same time, not just some slippers for the few steps from the car to the hip restaurant.

This new keyboard is that slipper you cannot walk in all day. And you won't even look good.

To introduce a completely new design is not just offering another accessory. It can be understood as a harbinger of things to come. In this case: worse things. If you read the "waiting blues for a new MacPro" you already see, that apple not only works on childish keyboards, they also neglect their core audience, those, who actually helped them to become such a success: the upscale professionals, those, who told everyone all the time what great, beautiful and reliable machines apple computers were.

I cannot think of a professional who would really work all day on such an unergonomic keyboard.

And it is ugly.

And hopefully a fake.

Possibly developed by Hewlett-Packard, and played into the hands of apple rumor mongers.

If not...

...then let's give it to Hewlett-Packard and the ugly PC world. Maybe that'll give them a push towards bankruptcy.
( Last edited by Veltliner; Aug 6, 2007 at 08:17 PM. )
     
Aeternus
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Aug 6, 2007, 09:14 PM
 
This seems about as ergonomic and useful as the mighty mouse. I used mine for 2 days. Then I threw it in a box. Utter garbage.
     
Simon
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Aug 7, 2007, 02:59 AM
 
To all those bashing the keyboard: Do you really have no reservation whatsoever to dismiss this keyboard as a design failure even though you have never seen or touched the actual device yet? I'm not saying the keyboard is good or bad, but since you're criticising a device you only know form a PNG on the web, your posts appear more like rants than serious comments.
( Last edited by Simon; Aug 7, 2007 at 03:18 AM. )
     
0157988944
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Aug 7, 2007, 06:29 AM
 
It's fairly clear that if you don't like the MacBook keyboard, you won't like this. Additionally, you can see ugliness in a PNG.
     
butterfly0fdoom
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Aug 7, 2007, 12:43 PM
 
Well, a friend of mine tried out my MacBook (at first calling the keys fugly and looking to be horrible to use) and ended up loving the keyboard. Try it then bash it, geez.
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Veltliner  (op)
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Aug 7, 2007, 05:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by butterfly0fdoom View Post
Well, a friend of mine tried out my MacBook (at first calling the keys fugly and looking to be horrible to use) and ended up loving the keyboard. Try it then bash it, geez.
Tried it, then bashed it.

(geez!)

How much does your friend write?

In general: the new keyboard looks like "lifestyle design". The "lifestyle" does the same thing to design that "fast" does to food in "fast food".
     
analogika
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Aug 7, 2007, 05:43 PM
 
I spend lots of time on the keyboard, and while I do slightly prefer the MacBook Pro keyboard, my MacBook keyboard is FAR superior to the stiff and clunky action of the last generation clear Apple USB Keyboard.

That gets annoying really fast - and no, weak fingers are not the problem (see sig).
     
chris v
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Aug 7, 2007, 05:52 PM
 
I like the Macbook keyboard quite a bit. Between my G5 and my Powerbook, I prefer typing on my Powerbook, because of the short travel, and I'm thinking about getting one of these new keyboards for my G5, checkbook willing. I think they look really nice.

When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift.
     
ghporter
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Aug 9, 2007, 08:26 AM
 
All theory and conjecture aside, I tried the new keyboard yesterday at the Apple Store, and after about 12 seconds of my fingers finding their places, I just fell into using it. No problems, no mistypes, just smooth typing. I am a touch typist if that matters. But the keys are not a problem to keep my fingers on, and while they're flat and smooth (except the 'F' and 'J' of course), they feel great.

So I bought the new iMac yesterday and when I get the time I'll set it up and (if my experience is sufficiently different from the forty-leven other people who post THEIR new iMac experiences) I'll post my impressions.

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Aug 9, 2007, 09:59 AM
 
So what's the skinny on this new keyboard requiring 10.4.10 to work? Is that just for the fancy stuff or for the whole thing?

(I won't be buying one 'coz I hate silver - going to grab a few whites while they're still around - but need to know anyways)
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Simon
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Aug 10, 2007, 06:04 AM
 
I suppose the software's required to make use of the extra features (media keys, etc.). The 'regular' keys will probably work w/o the update.
     
   
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